From reading my bio on this site, in past blogs or on the back cover of Gemini, if you’ve gotten it, you know deeply I hold children to my heart. Their health and wellness on every level is of utmost importance to me. The horrors of child abuse and how it affects us all is the theme of Gemini. To such an extent, that the dedication of the book says it all.
Gemini is for all the teachers out there who through blood, sweat and tears every day in their classrooms rescue and protect children from the horrors of abuse they endure in their lives.
Every present day crime novel conveys a message. The theme of Gemini evolved as I wrote the ms. You see child abuse through the eyes of three characters. The killer, a young adult patient of Dr. Trenton, and a five year old boy who’ll steal your heart. The following is an excerpt from the night John meets Vicki and Ricky.
“I’m havin’ an asth—ma attack.” Ricky struggled with tight breathing, trying to get the words out.
John didn’t know how long he’d just be able to stand there and not become involved. Regardless of the law.
Vicki sat in the chair next to his mother. “What happened, sweetheart?”
Ricky cried wiping, his tears away with his chubby hand, and tried to explain the best he could. “My daddy gave—me a whuppin’. And then I—couldn’t—breathe.” With curly blond hair and a face like a cherub, all he needed was a quiver with bows and arrows and he could pass for cupid. A little chubby, but it was still his baby weight. John smiled as Ricky’s personality shone through his discomfort. He was a real trooper. John liked that. He admired survivors.
“He’s always doin’ sometin’ to upset his father. And I’m the one who has to sit here waitin’ on the pediatrician with him, the brat. He just don’t learn nothin’.” His mother raised her hand to smack him across the face.
Vicki grabbed her hand, without batting an eyelash. “Miss Strathmore, you can’t do that. You’re going to make it worse. We talked about this yesterday. Did you and your boyfriend go to the counselor appointment I made for you?”
“No. Nothin’ill work wit him.”
“Miss Strathmore, the two days Ricky has been in my class, he hasn’t had any asthma symptoms at all. And he’s a very sensitive little boy. I don’t know how else to impress upon you that you shouldn’t hit him. Help me understand, please, why is this happening?”
“His father ain’t workin’. He’s too damn lazy to look for work and whenever he gets upset he lashes out at Ricky.”
“Well, tell me, what have you done to protect your son?”
John figured, from the abrupt tone of her voice, that she seemed to be reaching her limit of what she could do for this family. Couldn’t blame her.
“Nothin’, he’ll beat me too.”
John had heard enough. He became livid at the mom and he liked Vicki’s honest approach. And how long should a child have to wait for a pediatrician? He walked assuredly over to sit down in the chair next to Ricky who wheezed, his breathing labored. “What happened, champ?”
To read the rest of Ricky’s journey, pick up Gemini at:
Hopefully you’ve come over from Leslie Hachtel at http://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com. The next writer on the tour is Tessa Gray. So hop on over and read about her themes in her novels. http://www.tessagray.com/tessas-blog-page
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The Sign behind the Crime,